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J Vis Exp. 2017 May 8;(123). doi: 10.3791/55180.

Non-invasive In Vivo Fluorescence Optical Imaging of Inflammatory MMP Activity Using an Activatable Fluorescent Imaging Agent.

Author information

1
Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen; Department of Nuclear Medicine, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.
2
Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.
3
Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen; Department of Dermatology, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen.
4
Werner Siemens Imaging Center, Department of Preclinical Imaging and Radiopharmacy, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen; kerstin.fuchs@med.uni-tuebingen.de.

Abstract

This paper describes a non-invasive method for imaging matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-activity by an activatable fluorescent probe, via in vivo fluorescence optical imaging (OI), in two different mouse models of inflammation: a rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a contact hypersensitivity reaction (CHR) model. Light with a wavelength in the near infrared (NIR) window (650 - 950 nm) allows a deeper tissue penetration and minimal signal absorption compared to wavelengths below 650 nm. The major advantages using fluorescence OI is that it is cheap, fast and easy to implement in different animal models. Activatable fluorescent probes are optically silent in their inactivated states, but become highly fluorescent when activated by a protease. Activated MMPs lead to tissue destruction and play an important role for disease progression in delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions (DTHRs) such as RA and CHR. Furthermore, MMPs are the key proteases for cartilage and bone degradation and are induced by macrophages, fibroblasts and chondrocytes in response to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here we use a probe that is activated by the key MMPs like MMP-2, -3, -9 and -13 and describe an imaging protocol for near infrared fluorescence OI of MMP activity in RA and control mice 6 days after disease induction as well as in mice with acute (1x challenge) and chronic (5x challenge) CHR on the right ear compared to healthy ears.

PMID:
28518078
PMCID:
PMC5607898
DOI:
10.3791/55180
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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